There I was in happy blogger retirement. Then suddenly Thatcher pops her clogs.
I never liked the woman but feel that at least she had 'unfit for humanity' written large upon her. You kind of knew where you were. And also, during the 80s, there was a real opposition to the ruling class and her crowing at the helm. And let's not forget, the Conservatives got in with relatively slim majorities, so were unable to implement many of the oppressive policies they would have liked to.
Her beloved protégé, Tony Blair, was responsible for far more deaths of innocent people than Thatcher would ever have dreamed of. And also of perpetrating a coup d'état that killed the Labour Party and gave us yet another bunch of Tories. His rictus grin seemed to be telling us 'I'm everyone's friend', while at the same time he was serving the interests of the same ruling class.
Rant over. We kind of know all this.
What has horrified me this week is the mainstream media's shameless reinvention of Thatcher. Future generations will believe that she saved Britain at the end of the seventies. Saved it from what? Many a BBC commentator has been talking about how Britain was becoming a second rate power and that the 'lady' made us Great again. But how many of us want Britain to be 'Great'? How about 'Good' Britain? This country's so-called 'greatness' was based on the dispossession and plunder of millions of people across the globe, and also the harrowing of our own working class. The 'good' in Britain is the way the different communities have pulled together to fight for policies that outlaw racism and champion equality. These communities include the anti-racist and disabled people's movements, of which Disability Arts is the natural born child. This seems to be partly forgotten in this era of rampant individualism.
A huge thanks to Penny Pepper for speaking out about this here on DAO.
The BBC spent a lagrimose week of celebrating Thatcher. Andrew Harding told us that she spoke up for Nelson Mandela. We heard nothing about her cavortings with Pinochet and her absolute refusal to hear the call for justice in many parts of the world where people continue to be oppressed as a result of Western policies.
I'm a bit indifferent to the 'ding dong' scenario. Thatcher is far from dead. She lives on in the unbridled greed that is still ruining us even after the economy has gone to the wall. As long as bankers and their like thrive while the poorest among us are squeezed beyond endurance, she's alive. And laughing.
After reading the recent article on DAO about the way the media are colluding with the current UK goverment in villifying disabled people, the hoo ha about the paralympics and cultural olympiad seems like monumental claptrap.
There is an ever-inflating myth about the olympics involving heroism and perfection. The Nazi Olympics of 1936 embraced this passionately. With society's elevation of the super-crips and demonisation of the rest of us 'underachieving scroungers', have we come such a long way in the last 75 years?
One of the main Paralympic sponsors - Atos - is responsible for writing off thousands of disabled people from legitimate claims for benefit. On this basis alone, we should be boycotting the bloody event. A huge Thank You to Vince Laws for pointing this out at the Tate Modern in September.
Alongside Atos, we have a range of corporate sponsors who embrace such events to 'greenwash' many of their dodgy activities. Let's deal with them later.
Understandably caught up in the ghastly funding quagmire, many artists seem to be embracing 2012 with its 'exciting possibilites' and not voicing much criticism about it. In this light, it was so refreshing to see Katerine Araniello and Aaron Williamson tirading at this year's Liberty Festival about the current state of what is now passed off as 'disablity arts'.
Hopefully, we will be seeing a lot more of their fearless interventions at the toxic jamboree of Summer 2012. Oh to find out that there are more artists with as much to say and the courage to say it. Now that would be a good 2012 outcome.